Love will turn 50 next April and has finished just two of his six previous appearances on the tour this year. But he turned in seven birdies during a round of 4-under 66 at the challenging TPC-Southwind course to become part of the crowded leader board.
Nathan Green, Martin Flores, Stuart Appleby, Harris English and Glen Day were all tied for the top with Love. There were 26 players separated by two shots after the opening round of the last event prior to the playing of the U.S. Open.
Dustin Johnson got to 5-under early in his round, but eventually shot a 67. David Toms, Scott Stallings and Nicholas Thompson were part of the group at that number while the large crowd at 68 included recent Colonial Invitation winner Boo Weekly and rookie Russell Henley.
Henley won in his debut as a tour member last January in Hawaii and tied for sixth last week at The Memorial Tournament.
Phil Mickelson, trying to get his game in shape for next week's big tournament, shot a 1-over 71 and will likely need a sub-par round on Friday to survive the 36-hole cut. John Daly, who has made the cut just three times in his nine tournaments this year, also had a 71.